The full title was On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life. In the 1872 sixth edition “On” was omitted, so the full title is The origin of species by means of natural selection, or the preservation of favoured races in the struggle for life. This edition is usually known as The Origin of Species. Darwin’s book introduced the scientific theory that populations evolve over the course of generations through a process of natural selection. It presented a body of evidence that the diversity of life arose by common descent through a branching pattern of evolution. Darwin included evidence that he had gathered on the Beagle Expedition in the 1830s and his subsequent findings from research, correspondence, and experimentation.
Hampshire Libraries and Discovery Centres have copies of The Origin of Species as well as eBook and Audiobook editions. We also have other books by and about Charles Darwin, such as Darwin’s The voyage of the Beagle and, for younger readers, Sarah Ridley’s biography of Darwin.
Our many digital resources have much information about Darwin and his ideas and books. You can follow the links in this Blog for some examples. A particularly interesting approach is to look at contemporary newspaper articles. For example, there are the Gilchrist Lectures as reported in the Cheshire Observer on Saturday, November 10, 1877 and available from 19th Century British Newspapers. You can also look at The Times through the Times Digital Archive and many other 19th Century newspapers through the British Newspaper Archive.